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Un joyeux 25e anniversaire de mariage en Normandie et Paris

Un joyeux 25e anniversaire de mariage en Normandie et Paris

Old Nov 13th, 2012, 09:25 PM
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Un joyeux 25e anniversaire de mariage en Normandie et Paris

A little background...I LOVE Paris. I've been there a few handfuls of times, and never seem to get enough. DH does not share my enthusiasm. Once, a long time ago, was enough for him. So, when he suggested we celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary in Paris, he scored big romance points with me! In return, since he's such a history buff, I suggested we add Normandy too. And, with that, an itinerary was born.

This trip was about us, about celebrating our relationship and reconnecting, since the trudge of day to day life separates us so much of the time. It was a HUGE success! We travel so well together, spent all our time together, and, well, bonded all over again!

I checked airfare (Itasoftware.com) every day for 6 months (yeah, I'm a freak like that) until one day in the summer I scored an Air France sale: $860 pp, nonstop from LAX to CDG. It was a surprisingly comfortable flight, for economy. Dinner and 2 melatonin, and I was out for 6 of the 10+ hours. DH, who cannot sleep on planes, reports that he watched 5 movies!

We decided in advance to have the travel day from hell, and get right on a 3 hour train to Rennes after getting off the plane. I had booked us PREM tickets, for about 25€ pp, allowing 3 hours between our arrival and departure. Well, immigration was a breeze, and we could have made a much earlier train. Oh well, live and learn. After all, we are in Paris, though just the airport, so we ate the first of many wonderful baguette sandwiches, stuffed with ham, cheese, chicken. Why is French fast food so good?

We arrived in Rennes on time. Only a 1 hour car ride left to end our journey and begin our travels! As we always do, we drove in circles for a half hour or so, trying to find the autoroute out of the city. An hour later, we arrived in the tiny Norman town of Bouceel, and the beautiful and gracious chateau of Comte Regis de Roquefeuil. The adventure begins!
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Old Nov 14th, 2012, 01:52 AM
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Signing on for the adventure and wishing you a happy anniversary.
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Old Nov 14th, 2012, 03:04 AM
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I'm on too!
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Old Nov 14th, 2012, 04:51 AM
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Moi Aussie!
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Old Nov 14th, 2012, 04:52 AM
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ttt
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Old Nov 14th, 2012, 04:52 AM
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My iPad made that spelling mistake. aussi.
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Old Nov 14th, 2012, 06:35 AM
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Can't wait for more. We did Paris and Normandy a few years ago. We had a week in Paris and then our daughter met us and we went to Bayeux for 2 days and did a tour of the D-Day beaches. It was a wonderful trip and fabulous memories.
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Old Nov 14th, 2012, 07:09 AM
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Congratulations on your anniversary!! Isn't wonderful that you can spend that time with your spouse or SO and remember why it was that you connected in the first place? Since I am lucky enough to have a DH who feels about Paris as I do and have another trip planned for March, I am looking forward to the rest of your trip report.
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Old Nov 14th, 2012, 08:53 AM
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That was a long travel day! Did you have trouble finding the Chateau de Bouceel? We stayed there in 2007. We were celebrating our 40th anniversary. Coming back from dinner the first night, we almost had to sleep in the car. We could not retrace our route!

I am eager to read about your travels. It sounds like a lovely trip!
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Old Nov 14th, 2012, 09:04 AM
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Wow that's an awesome deal you found, $860 nonstop from LAX.
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Old Nov 14th, 2012, 10:15 AM
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How wonderful that the trip exceeded your expectations - and you're a smart woman for adding the Normandy portion. ;-)

I've had many different travel companions over the years, but my husband is by far the most compatible (thank goodness!) in terms of likes, dislikes, pace, planning, etc.

Looking forward to the adventure, and happy anniversary!
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Old Nov 14th, 2012, 10:18 AM
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Wonderful for your 25th!
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Old Nov 14th, 2012, 10:34 AM
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I have always found on my arrival day that I have so much adrenaline coming out of the airport that I can keep going for hours without feeling tired. That's why I'm always so surprised by people who claim that you are going to be so tired upon arrival from North America that you should not consider touching a steering wheel.

One time, I remember that I flew from Paris to LAX, which is a pretty hefty flight, and picked up a rental car at the airport. I had very vague plans about how to spend the next two weeks, so I drove to Las Vegas the very same evening without any problem at all, and it isn't exactly right next door. And of course I had to spend a couple hours in a casino before going to bed...
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Old Nov 14th, 2012, 03:16 PM
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Glad you're all here! Thanks for the anniversary well wishes. It's an accomplishment that I'm proud of. It's not always been easy, and I'm so happy that we're so happy!

AGM_Cape_Cod, we found the chateau pretty easily, paying VERY close attention to the directions I had printed off the chateau's website and brought with us. I had read here how difficult it was to find. For good measure, I also printed directions from viamichelin.com, because I get lost so easily! I

kerouac, even with my 6 hours of sleep, I'm glad DH was the one driving, and not me. After all, he drives so much in his every day life, he's used to driving while asleep!

Going to write the next installment now.
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Old Nov 14th, 2012, 04:13 PM
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Chateau de Bouceel (http://www.chateaudebouceel.com) is a very special place, for many reasons. It is an elegant, lovingly maintained chateau from the 17th century, and from its inception, has been passed down from generation to generation within the Roquefeuil family. It is located about 20 minutes from Le Mont St. Michel. I chose to stay here in large part because though I wanted to see the mont by day, I really wanted to see it lit up at night. I was not dissappointed.

There are 5 guest rooms, each named for the relatives who previously occupied each room. We stayed in Oncle Francois' bedroom, which was quite large, and richly appointed, with a canopied bed and lovely antique furniture. The views out onto the front lawn, with it's meandering stream, lazy geese and 2 donkeys, was a special treat to awake to when throwing open the shutters in the mornings.

Regis pays special attention to the beds (he used to be a chiropractor) and linens, and it was so comfortable. The grounds and the common areas are truly gorgeous.

What really makes this property a gem is the Comte himself. He is a charming, gracious host, who joined us each morning for breakfast, telling us rich stories about the property, the area, his family and his home. He is especially proud of his father, who was a very important man during the war years. Comte Regis suggested our day's itinerary and secured our dinner reservations while we were there. I could not recommend this place more highly. Our room, with simple but delicious continental breakfast (coissants, cereals, toasts, homemade cakes and jams, coffee, tea or chocolate) served in the formal dining room, was about 190€ per night. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

We arrived at nearly 8pm, and Regis helped us to our room, then whisked us out the door to dinner. Our first dinner in France was had at Ferme St. Michel, Beauvoir, in the shadow of the glowing mount. We each had a 3 course menu for about 20€, including the regional specialty, grilled salt marsh raised lamb. The highlight of this meal for me was a delicious carrot soup, swirled with pureed chestnut. For our first night in France dessert was, of course, fromage!

We spent a bit of time admiring the lighted mount, before retreating, directions firmly in hand, to "our" chateau for the night. It had been one long day, and we were ready to rest.
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Old Nov 15th, 2012, 10:29 AM
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Looking forward to more. We only saw MSM during the day. I'm sure it looks pretty cool at night.

Also, if I remember correctly, didn't you go to Le P'tit Resto in Bayeux? I'll be interested to hear your thoughts about it. Tracy and I went there, too.

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Old Nov 15th, 2012, 01:03 PM
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Hi Tom! Glad you and your crew had such a nice time. I must say I was a bit intimidated when I hit "submit" on my first post on this thread, and then saw YOUR trip report at the head of the line! Everyone knows you can't compete with an honest-to-goodness maitaitom report!

Yes, we went to P'tit Resto, on our anniversary. As a gift, they spilled a glass of red wine on Bill! Better him than me

Will report all about it below.
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Old Nov 15th, 2012, 01:18 PM
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Oh what a wonderful report! Happy Anniversary!!! I am now on your "subscriber" list, too!
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Old Nov 15th, 2012, 11:51 PM
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Does your DH realise he has set a bit of a precedence by taking you to Paris for a significant anniversary? 25 years for us was three children and a mortgage. But 40 in a 2015 is looking promising. But then, who needs an excuse to go to Paris!!

Sounds a great trip. One you will remember for a long time.
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Old Nov 17th, 2012, 10:17 AM
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On our first full day of vacation, we got to sample a part of France that we haven't before: Brittany. At our host's suggestion, we visited the medieval walled towns of Dinan and St. Malo, before heading back to Mt. St. Michel late in the afternoon. This way, Regis said, we'd avoid the hoards of tourists.

We very much enjoyed meandering through the old town in Dinan, with it's well preserved medieval walls and gates, spectacular basilica, monestary, half timber buildings and authentic dungeon! Parking in an underground lot was cheap and easy. We lunched in town at a tiny but packed creperie. when in Brittany...

Then on to the seaside, medieval walled town of St. Malo. Once again, beautiful medieval architecture, this time abutting a low tide sea. It was a beautiful day, with puffy white clouds against a bright blue sky, and many people were out strolling at the water's edge. This town afforded many great photo opps.

Our host had suggested we arrive at the MSM monestary at 4pm. We misunderstood, not realizing he meant AT THE TOP by 4. Well, we took the scenic route, driving along the coast, and arrived on the premises at nearly 4:30, thinking we could gain entry to the monestary until 6. WRONG! The last entry was at 5, and there was no way we were going to hoof it up the 900 steps (even if we could!) So, we had to settle for walking around the lower parts of the mount, which is nice, but VERY touristy. It was well into dusk when we descended, getting some fabulous photos of the mount lit up agains the blue-black sky. It was good timing afterall.

Dinner that night, also suggested by our host, was a treat, with a little unintended live entertainment to boot. We dined at the tiny L'Auberge du Terroir in Servon. ([email protected]) This is a charming little inn and restaurant in the smallest of towns, I'm shocked we actually found our way. Madame is the warm and friendly hostess and server, while her husband is the chef. Their cat is also in attendance in the dining room! I had duck confit for my main, and it was good and crisp.

When we sat down, madame let us know that earlier in the day, her cat had brought in a tiny mouse to play, which, she was pretty sure, was still inside. Thoughout our evening, the little guy would scurry out from the cupboard, and scurry back, to the delight of (most) all of the diners! One American woman shrieked and nearly turned their table over! It made for some good laughter, and a most enjoyable evening.
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